Major in Hispanic Studies

About the Major in Hispanic Studies

The Major program in Hispanic Studies consists of at least 9 (nine) courses numbered 20 or higher taught in Spanish. Students may substitute one upper level course in English offered by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Spanish Majors will receive credit for one of those courses automatically although students still need to see the Major/Minor advisor to get that credit recorded on their transcripts. Approval for this option will be granted only for a course taken after a student has completed SPAN 20. For courses in English taught outside the Department students must submit a written petition to the Chair during the term preceding the English language course and it must be approved by the Department. This last option is not available for Spanish Minors, Majors in Romance Studies or Modified Majors. Students must declare their major by the end of their fifth term of residence.

For specifics on each of the requirements consult the  ORC/Smartcatalog


Prerequisite: SPAN 9 or Span 15 (or equivalent)

The major program in Hispanic Studies consists of at least 9 courses numbered 20 or higher. Courses for this major are taught in Spanish and English (one). Approval for this option will be granted and only for a course in English taken after a student has completed SPAN 20. Courses taken outside the Department need to be petitioned for approval.

Courses must be distributed as follows:

1) Spanish 20

SPAN 20 is required for majors and minors and counts towards the major and minor. It can be taken concurrently with other 30-level courses. It is a prerequisite for all upper-level courses (SPAN 40 and higher).

2) Spanish Survey Courses and Foreign Study Programs

a. Survey Courses, Foreign Study Programs: SPAN 30, 31, 32

These are introductory courses with a historical or survey approach. All students must take at least one of these courses.

Students not participating on a Foreign Study Program (FSP) may count up to two of these courses toward the major. Foreign Study Program students may count only one.

b. Foreign Study Courses: SPAN 33, SPAN 34, SPAN 35, SPAN 36

Prerequisites: Students may participate in a Foreign Study Program after having successfully completed SPAN 9 or SPAN 15 (or equivalent), SPAN 20, and one course from the 30, 31 and 32 survey sequence.

Students may count up to two Foreign Study Program courses (SPAN 33-36) toward the major. The total number of courses that Foreign Study Program students may count towards their major from the 30 sequence (SPAN 30-36) will never exceed three.

Note: Students studying on two Foreign Study Programs will consult with the Major Advisor and petition the department for individual adjustments.

3) Topics Courses: SPAN 40 - 77

In consultation with the Major Advisor, students choose at least four of these upper-level courses from among the offerings of the department. Students who do not participate in a Foreign Study Program must choose at least five.

4) Independent Study: SPAN 83

One Independent Study (SPAN 83) may count as an upper-level course for the major. The Department projects its upper-level offerings up to two years in advance so that students can thoughtfully plan an individualized course of study in consultation with the Major Advisor. Students interested in pursuing an Independent Study must identify their topic and faculty advisor and present a proposal to their faculty advisor and to the Department for approval no later than the seventh week of the term preceding the term they wish to undertake the Independent Study.

5) Culminating Experience: Senior Seminar (SPAN 80)

The Senior Seminar is required for all seniors. SPAN 80 allows students to explore, debate, and creatively produce written work or other forms of knowledge (plays, short films, photographic essays, etc.) on a topic relevant to Hispanic Studies, a process enhanced by the small group setting of the seminar. SPAN 80 fulfills the Culminating Experience required for the major and will be offered winter and spring of each academic year.

In special cases, the Culminating Experience may be fulfilled by a different upper-level course. In that case, students will be required to complete additional work as established by the course professor. A petition to the Major Advisor and Chair must be made by the last week of the term prior to registering for this alternate course.

Study Abroad

Students interested in studying Spanish abroad may apply to go on our Department-based LSAs, LSA+s and FSPs and/or look into the CASA (Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad) programs.

Currently LALACS sponsors the CASA program in Havana, Cuba.


The main requirement to go on this program upon acceptance is fluency in Spanish. Non-native speakers must have completed Spanish 20 or the equivalent. Heritage speakers of Spanish who are unsure of their competence in the language should contact the Minor/Major advisor.

NEW since Fall 2019: All Spanish majors can request up to 2 (two) credits towards the major for two courses taken in Casa de las Américas in Havana through CASA. (Note the department will only honor courses taken in Casa de las Américas, not Universidad de la Habana)

Please refer to this website to see the list of courses in Casa de las Américas that will guarantee credit in Spanish.

Upon completion of the CASA program, students can request their Spanish credit(s) by emailing our major/minor advisor with copy to the chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, indicating the following information:

  1. Name and last name of student

  2. Dartmouth ID
  3. Number of Spanish credits requested (1 for minor/ 2 for major) 
  4. Title(s) of course(s) specifying name of professor